TORONTO — A couple of extras after the Twins reached eight consecutive losses for the third time this season:
The Twins had a plan for facing Francisco Liriano, and it worked pretty well. The strategy: Try to stay off the slider and let Liriano’s frequent problems with command work against him.
Sure enough, Liriano walked four batters, and the Twins drove three of them home. But the lefthander, dealt away by the Twins four years ago, struck out seven and managed to limit the damage by giving up only two hits over his short five-inning start. One of them was a fastball that Liriano's former teammate, Trevor Plouffe, crushed over the center field fense, his first home run since July 1. The other was a double to the wall in left-center by Kurt Suzuki, which drove in two runs.
Still, the Jays scored 15 runs behind him, and Liriano earned his seventh win of the season.
Ervin Santana gets the start on Saturday, which is good news for the Twins, considering he owns a 1.72 ERA over his last 10 starts. On the other hand, Santana hasn’t beaten Toronto since 2011, going 0-4 since then.
“I don’t think Ervin is going to change what he does,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “A young guy like Pat [Dean], without a lot of experience coming in here, it’s hard to be the same guy. Ervin doesn’t seem to change, environment to environment, team to team. He knows these guys, he’s faced them. They’ve got a nice environment going here, but hopefully he can hold it down and we can have another good offensive day.”